Albums like this are the reason I'm in metal (wish I could say it was the money!). Every once in a blue moon, something comes down the pike that refreshes dim memories of what it was like to be excited about this music, when it felt as if metal could rock the planet -- maybe not literally, but as a tweak on perception, an epic soundtrack to drown out the babble of the everyday. Swedish Power Metallists Tad Morose redefine the face of heavy for a new generation, reminding us all what it meant when, in Halford's words, "the Wizard shook the world."
On the first spin of this disc I was impressed by several things: The quality and control of the playing, Peter Moren's tasteful power kick drums, the speed, fluency and suppleness of "Krunt" Andersson and Daniel Olsson's guitars, the supple lines of bassist Anders Modd. Most of all, I was simply blown away by vocalist Urban Breed.
Breed is a miracle, a guy with the range, assurance and ferocity of the people who defined classic metal singing, names like Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Ronnie Dio. Breed belongs among these names. Depending on the song's theme, Breed produces a soulful response -- ripping through juggernaut showpieces like "Sword of Retribution" and the duet with Levay vocalist Charles Rytkonen on the title track; making like Bruce on the hair-rising "Riding the Beast," invoking the occultic thrills of Dio on "Reason of the Ghost" and "The Devil's Finger."
There is not a throwaway tune on this album. Tight, powerful riffs animate every track. Tad Morose are bound for greatness -- the next Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, even, dare I say it, the next Maiden. Stay tuned.